Take some spinach, cheese, and bread cubes, soak them in a custard-sauce overnight, bake until puffed and golden the next morning, and what do you get? Why, the uber-delicious Spinach and Cheese Strata. One bite of this moist, delicious, nutmeg-y Strata, and you’ll throw away your box of breakfast cereal.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus a little more for greasing the dish)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely-chopped
2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed out in a towel
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Grinds of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 cups cubed bread (1/2 pound, or roughly 8 slices)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded or grated Swiss cheese
9 large eggs
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 3/4 cups milk
1. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet set over a medium flame. (tip: Whenever a recipe asks you to saute something in butter, always add a bit of oil. The oil will keep the butter from burning.)
2. Add the onion and seasonings (1/2 teaspoon salt; grinds of black pepper; 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg), and saute until the onions have softened — about 5 minutes. Add the spinach to the onion mixture, and stir for about 1 minute.
3. Spread 1/3 of the bread cubes into the buttered baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the spinach mixture, and 1/3 of each of the cheeses. Repeat this layering step two more times.
4. Using a wire whisk, beat eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of mustard in a large bowl. Pour this custard over the casserole. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
5. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
6. Baking – 45-55 minutes on the center rack of a preheated 350 degree oven. Remove the plastic wrap, and bake uncovered until the strata is puffed and golden — 45-55 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, and then serve at once.
recipe from: agardenforthehouse.com, adapted from Gourmet Magazine